Andy Toppan: Abandoned at the Brewery Exhibit Opening
Julia Durgee paints the activity, beauty, and buzz of Maine. She grew up drawing and painting cartoons, fashion designs, murals, and portraits in Albany, New York. This early work led to an apparel design degree from Cornell University and eventual freelance illustration work for Forbes.com, Bust Magazine, and national branding agencies in NYC. In 2005, she was heavily influenced by the graphic novel boom, which unearthed her talent for producing structured, autobiographical comic art, winning her an American Illustration Award in 2007. Believing the business world could benefit from more artists, she got her MBA in 2012 and worked in marketing for Walt Disney World then was brought to Maine by L.L.Bean. She soon revived her oil painting practice on Monhegan Island and learned that a great painting contains just as much structure as a great comic. Plein air painting emboldens her to paint social, crowded settings: a rock-climbing competition, a fundraiser, a rowdy, craft beer festival. Her powers of concentration are retrained weekly with her volunteer work: drawing pencil portraits of the energetic kids at the Portland Boys & Girls Club.